Game 24 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators vs San Jose Sharks

Send Brady Tkachuk’s #7 the rafters yesterday.

I can’t express how different this preview would be had it not been for Brady Tkachuk’s heroics yesterday. There would’ve been comparisons drawn between Alex DeBrincat’s shot and Connor Brown’s, and pining for the return of Chris Tierney and Colin White down the middle. It would’ve been despair itself.

Instead, we get to enjoy the third victory in the last 4 games for the Ottawa Senators, and a fair amount of optimism heading into tonight’s contest against the San Jose Sharks, the second half of Ottawa’s first back-to-back this season.

Speaking of which, it feels like they intentionally made the schedule as inefficient as possible. A home-and-home in which the second game is on the road, with a home game the following day. What?!?

In yesterday’s contest, Artem Zub and Travis Hamonic took a puck to the face and throat, respectively, but both returned to see the end of the game. We’ll keep you updated on any changes to the lineup in case either one is not able to play tonight.

Game Notes:

  • Brady Tkachuk just keeps on getting better. With his 100th and 101st career goals yesterday, as well as a Gordie Howe hat-trick, he now has 28 points in 23 games, just barely shy of a 100-point pace. Tim Stutzle and Claude Giroux have produced very well on the top line too, but the captain has most definitely been the player to watch thus far.
  • At 4-6-0, I’m not sure there’s a goalie out there less deserving of their record than Cam Talbot. He was certainly the MVP for the Sharks the last time these two teams played each other, but he’s been a brick wall in nearly every game, with a .919 save percentage overall.
  • The Senators’ defense in front of him, however...hasn’t actually been too bad either as for whatever reason, they’ve been much better in front of Talbot (2.37 xGA/60 would be 7th in the league) than they’ve been in front of Anton Forsberg (3.04 xGA/60 would be 31st) according to NaturalStatTrick. Instead, a lack of goal support has been the main issue. With 1.71 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 in front of Cam Talbot, that pace would rank — and I kid you not — dead last in the league. That’s not what any of us were expecting heading into the season. That DeBrincat-Brown comparison I made in jest, isn’t actually detached from reality all that much until some pucks start going in.
  • It’s a 7:00 PM EST puck drop tonight, and the game is available on Sportsnet One, City TV, and TSN 1200./


Player Stats

Game 24OttawaSenatorsSan JoseSharks
GoalsBrady Tkachuk11Logan Couture13
AssistsBrady Tkachuk17Erik Karlsson21
PointsBrady Tkachuk28Erik Karlsson32
ShotsBrady Tkachuk107Timo Meier125
Time on Ice/GPThomas Chabot26:16Erik Karlsson25:15

Team Stats

Game 24OttawaSenatorsSan JoseSharks
Goals Against/GP3.3020th3.4223rd
Shots Against/GP33.426th30.610th
Powerplay %23.813th19.723rd
Penalty Kill %78.219th91.61st
Corsi % (5v5 SVA)51.5413th47.7324th
xGF % (5v5 SVA)52.0913th50.1917th

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